Summer Fruit and Mascarpone Tart
serves six generous portions, or eight smaller
For the tart case:
I used this recipe for short sweet pastry from a previous post. Only half the recipe quantity is required. The reminder can be frozen for use later.
Preheat the oven to 185deg. C.
After chilling the pastry, roll it between a sheet of baking paper and a sheet of plastic food wrap. Lift the paper and leave the pastry stuck to the plastic wrap. Now use the plastic wrap to guide the pastry into a long, loose bottomed tart tin. Once in the tin, peel the plastic away and trim the pastry from the edges using a knife. Mend any holes using the off cuts.
Crumple the previously used sheet of baking paper, then ease it into the tin and over the pastry. Crumpling it first makes the paper easier to handle.
Now fill the paper lined pastry with either baking rice or beans.
Bake for 20 minutes then take from the oven and remove the paper and rice. Return to the oven and bake a further 10 minutes until the pastry is very crisp and quite brown. The pastry will have shrunk from the sides of the tin.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the sides of the tin. Leave the base of the tin attached to the tart as this will help to support it. Allow to cool completely before adding the filling.
For the Filling:
3 to 4 tablespoons icing sugar
the juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 cup cream
a selection of seasonal fruit, about 3 cups - I used strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and red and black currents.
Beat the mascarpone, sugar, lemon zest and juice together until smooth and soft, then set aside. Beat the cream until soft peaks form. Fold the mascarpone into the beaten cream a third at a time. Taste for sweetness, and fold in a little more icing sugar if you require it.
Store the filling in the fridge until it is required.
Half an hour before the guests arrive, fill the tart case with the filling. I like to pile it up so it looks nice and generous. You want the case to stay nice and crisp, fill it too soon and it will become soft.
Any extra filling can be eaten later with whatever left over fruit is available, or use the extra pastry to make a few small tarts to fill.
Now arrange the seasonal fruit. Hull the strawberries and slice them in half if they are large. Add the raspberries, blueberries, and red and black currents. Don't worry about being exact - it's supposed to look casual. For the Provencal touch, leave the currents on their stalks.
Now use a sieve to dust the whole lot with a generous layer of icing sugar.
If you don't have a long enough serving dish, just spread out a clean, crisp, cloth serviette and present it straight onto the table.
You wont need to worry about any leftovers with this tart.
Happy festive baking xx